Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of Persia"

See other formats

262                  HISTORY OF PERSIA                 CHAP.
and proceeded to the Court of the Emperor, where he
was received with the utmost distinction and honour, as
it was realized that a successful campaign by Shah Abbas
would react most favourably on the situation in Europe.
From the Court at Prague the English knight made
his way to Rome, whence the Persian nobleman, who had
quarrelled with him, returned to Persia. Sir Anthony
Sherley finally settled in Spain, where he entered the
service of the King, who sent him on an embassy to
Morocco. He apparently severed his connexion with
Persia, and died in the land of his adoption.
The Successful Campaigns against Turkey, A,H. ion-
1036 (1602-1627).—It was not until fifteen years after
his accession to the throne that Shah Abbas felt himself
strong enough to cross swords with the Sultan and to
attempt to regain the Persian provinces occupied by the
great Sunni power. The actual outbreak of hostilities
was due to an attack on Salmas by the Turkish garrison
of Azerbaijan. Shah Abbas, having already decided to
break the peace, marched rapidly from Isfahan, and after
defeating the Turkish army besieged Tabriz ; the city
surrendered on 2ist October 1603, and once again, after
eighteen years, formed part of the Persian empire. The
Shah then marched on Erivan, which he took after a six
months' siege; he also occupied Shirwan and Kars.
Meanwhile Sultan Mohamed III. had died, and upon
the accession of the youthful Ahmad large Turkish forces
wer$ organized for a Persian campaign.
The two armies met in the vicinity of Lake Urumia.
The Turks were one hundred thousand strong and the
Persians only sixty-two thousand : but the former had
lost much of their old discipline and valour, whereas the
latter were disciplined and for the first time supported by
artillery. The Turks advanced in their usual formation
of a column of cavalry supported by infantry and artillery,
hoping no doubt to draw the enemy's horsemen within
range of their guns. Shah Abbas upset this plan of battle
by detaching Allah Verdi with instructions to execute a
wide turning movement oat to the rear of the enemy and
then to open out his force and create the impression that